Phurpa Lhamo | Wangdue

The recent accident in Wangduephodrang, where a 39-year-old army officer and a student died after the vehicle they were in veered off 152m below the road in Jarona on the night of February 6, has raised many eyebrows.

Wangduephodrang residents are questioning how the two, who are in the containment area, could go out till Jarona at night.  “Since lockdown was lifted, movement of people in and out of the area was lifted as well. But everything had to be recorded,” a source said.

Many are also questioning why the student, who was only 17 years old, went with the officer at such an odd hour.  Although media reports initially claimed the student was 18 years, sources said she was only 17.  Records also showed she was born in March 2003.

According to a close relative of the girl, the girl’s family wasn’t home when she had left with the officer. “Phone contacts show that she’d known him well.”

The relative said the girl had health issues but she was not a problem child. “She hardly goes anywhere, but she’d left that day. It was kyen (bad luck).”

Responding to the rumours and speculation, the relative said people do talk, but since both of them died, their focus is on conducting the last rites.

Kuensel learned that, while officials recorded the accident occurred because the man lost control of the vehicle, Wangdue residents are questioning how the conclusion was drawn. “With so many rumours milling around, such conclusions only raise more suspicions,” a corporate employee said. “The incident is unfortunate, but it should ensure our minors are safe. Men shouldn’t exploit minors.”